Spring Contest Winner--Irene Sullivan!
WOW: Irene, congratulations to you for placing as one of our Runners Up! How does it feel?
Irene: It feels great! I was a journalist before I became a lawyer so it’s wonderful to be back writing again.
WOW: I’m glad you decided to come back. What inspired the idea behind “Save the Last Dance for Me”? Was there anything from real life inside your story?
Irene: Putting my mother into assisted living. Also, living in an area where lots of elderly people are getting married again.
WOW: That’s a great pull from life, and you have many areas from which to draw stories. In your bio you mentioned that you preside in the Unified Family Court, handling various cases and family matters. Of course, this is a single mention among many of your professional credits. Do you find that this career plays a role in your writing? Or would you say your writing gives you a completely “other” world in which to explore or escape?
Irene: Both. I am presently working on a novel and a memoir based on the stories I hear in juvenile and family court. However, short stories and “flash fiction” are more escapist, as I love to let my imagination run from the “prompt.”
WOW: We’re so glad to hear that our contest helps provide an escape, among its other benefits and, hopefully, its motivational side. Have you found inspiration from other books or authors?
Irene: Of course. Scott Turow is my favorite legal mystery writer. I’ve read all his books. The variety of talent is amazing. I really enjoyed The Glass Castle, by Jeannette Walls, and The Kite Runner.
WOW: Scott Turow is a writer and an attorney. I’d imagine he draws upon experience much like you will in your future novels. Speaking of drawing from life, do you have specific long-term goals for your writing career?
Irene: My goal is to finish my novel and my memoir, get them published and perhaps create a series featuring a juvenile judge.
WOW: That series sounds fascinating. Please make sure to send us an announcement when you meet that goal. Of course, we learned in your bio that in addition to your Juris Doctor degree, you received an undergraduate degree in journalism. Has this undergrad degree helped you in any way with your writing?
Irene: I hope the writing skills are returning, after having been buried for many years in “legalese.”
WOW: I’d say from your entry that’s a definite. What in life inspires you the most for your writing endeavors?
Irene: The complicated lives of the children I see in court, and the stories that they tell.
WOW: Would you like to end on some motivating words to our audience of writers?
Irene: Don’t worry about getting it right, just write!!!!
WOW: You have precision in your writing and your words. No one should procrastinate, just write! Thanks for your time, your wisdom, and your entry. We wish you well with all your future goals.
To read Irene's winning entry, go to Save the Last Dance for Me.